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New package standards - LAST CALL

The new source package format has been debated for some time, and I've
now implemented the tools to manage an arrangement which I think meets
our requirements.  There hasn't been much feedback.

The policy manual is little more than a rearrangement and tidying up
of existing documents.  The programmers' manual is mainly
documentation (copied, rewritten and written from scratch) of existing

Therefore I propose that unless someone raises a serious problem or
issue within the next week or two the new packaging guidelines as
described in the draft dpkg programmers' manual, the draft Debian
policy manual and as implemented by dpkg 1.3.x, will become official.

After that point package maintainers should install dpkg 1.3.x and
start converting their packages.  Also, after that point any further
changes will involve a change to the Standards-Version number, which
appears as a control field in the new source format, and generate
entries in a changelog.  Thus we'll be able to check which packages
are falling behind.

I hope this meets with everyone's approval.  Bruce, I'd be
grateful if you could let me know whether I have your go-ahead on
this, or whether you think I'm moving too fast.

In case you've forgotten, here are the claimed advantages of the new
source format:
 * Original source kept in the Debian archive, so you don't need to
   download it from somewhere to build a package you haven't built
 * Better automation of the correspondence between various bits of
   control information, including package names and version numbers.
 * Better and package-independent automation of the creation of source
 * Automation of the generation of .changes files from information in
   a parseable changelog and elsewhere.
 * Better ability to record the correspondence between binary and
   source packages in the archive.
 * The possibility of building packages in bulk entirely automatically.

These advantages make it easier for maintainers to take over each
others' packages, and will I hope make the m68k and alpha porters'
lives easier (when completed, at least).


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